Okay, it isn't really acres. In fact, our total growing area is probably less than a quarter-acre. But I couldn't resist a bit of alliteration. "Many square feet of onions" didn't grab me as a good post title. Anyway, we have planted a lot of onion family (aka Allium) plants this season. At least, it seems like a lot to me. Many more than last year.
First it was 200 cloves of garlic back in October. Nine different varieties. We ordered two sampler packs from Bob Anderson, self-proclaimed Garlicmeister, of Gourmet Garlic Gardens in Bangs, Texas. A box arrived full of little brown paper bags holding garlic heads (bulbs) of various varieties. I sure wish I had taken a photo.
We split the heads up into individual cloves and planted the largest ones according to Bob's detailed instructions. After a week or so, we started to see little greens shoots poking up through the mulch. Now there is a little forest of garlic tops. They are all varieties suited to our hot, humid, short-day climate; each one should form a nice head of garlic cloves. We will harvest some green, before they fully mature, and leave the rest to mature in early summer.
Bob's website is fun, sprawling and colorful - check it out for interesting information about garlic cultivation, cooking, health benefits, medical uses, and history. He ships garlic heads for eating, too; if you are a garlic fanatic, try ordering one of his samplers and taste some of his varieties for yourself.
Stay tuned for Episode 2: Scallions and Shallots and Onions, Oh My!